Acquisition

DHS S&T goes for second on tech accelerator

compass innovation

The Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate is launching a second iteration of a program to tap the start-up technology community for innovative gear for first responders.

S&T kicked off EMERGE 2016 on Aug. 8 with the goal of getting more innovative wearable device technology in the pipeline for emergency responders, said D'Arcy Morgan, executive director of S&T's Responder Technology Alliance.

The EMERGE program, launched last year, is a collaborative effort in which DHS works with emergency responders to identify capabilities and innovative companies that can fulfill those needs. S&T is partnering with the Center for Innovative Technology in Herndon, Va., and TechNexus in Chicago to find novel ideas and new technology that can help firefighters, police and emergency management technicians.

D'Arcy said the program allows DHS to work through a technology incubator to see if companies' products could be modified for government use and to introduce them to the government market. That help is invaluable in helping smaller innovative companies that haven't worked with the government before and could easily be overshadowed by larger corporations, he added.

He told FCW that EMERGE 2015 drew 150 applicants for the incubator program, and 20 companies were ultimately selected to participate.

For EMERGE 2016, he said S&T is specifically looking for innovative combined voice, video and data capabilities for firefighters, law enforcement and emergency responders and for longer-lasting batteries for body cameras, integrated data for situational awareness and medical sensors for triage and emergency response.

Interested companies have until Sept. 2 to apply for the program.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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